Hair loss is a phenomenon that often causes concern among many individuals. However, it is entirely normal to lose hair on a daily basis. During washing, the amount of hair loss can be striking due to the quantity observed. In this article, we explain everything about hair loss and whether it's normal to lose hair during shampooing.
Why do we lose hair?
The skin naturally has hair follicles. The head contains about 1 million hair follicles, capable of producing up to 150,000 hairs depending on the individual. Each hair is composed of a hair shaft divided into three parts: the medulla, the cortex, and the cuticle. Originating from a hair follicle, each has its own life cycle that unfolds in three stages:
The Anagen Phase: This is the growth phase of the hair during which there is proliferation of the matrix cells that form the inner sheath of the root, the cortex, and the medulla of the hair shaft. The synthesis and pigmentation of the hair shaft only occur during this phase. Its duration determines the length of the hair.
The catagen phase: The first sign of the catagen phase is the cessation of melanin production, the pigment responsible for the color of our hair, in the hair bulb. The hair stops growing but remains attached to its hair follicle.
The telogen phase: After the catagen phase, the follicles enter a resting stage, known as the telogen phase. The hair shaft eventually detaches from its follicle, which has already begun to produce a new hair beneath the skin.
Thus, within a head of hair, not all hairs are necessarily in the same phase as they each have their own life cycle. Some may be in a growth phase, while others are on the verge of falling out. This is why we lose about 50 to 100 hairs per day. This shedding is normal and does not impact the appearance and density of the hair.
Does shampoo promote hair loss?
Washing your hair with a shampoo suitable for your scalp does not promote hair loss. To maintain them, hair needs to be cleaned regularly. Thus, on the contrary, washing contributes to the maintenance of hair health. When we wash our hair, some are already detached from their hair follicle and fall out, which gives the impression that the loss is more significant.
Using an unsuitable shampoo can lead to pronounced hair loss during washing. Chemical shampoos can be the cause of hair fall. A clinical study showed that patients using a shampoo containing selenium disulfide were more likely to experience abnormal hair loss. However, this study was conducted on 6 patients, making it difficult to establish a link between selenium disulfide and abnormal hair loss. In general, to limit risks, prefer shampoos made with natural ingredients and tailored to your hair type.
Just as with brushing, washing your hair requires some friction. Given that moisture already weakens the hair, rubbing your hair during washing could potentially lead to hair loss.
How to prevent hair loss during washing?
In order to limit the risk of hair loss, it is necessary to adopt a certain routine during cleansing. Start by wetting your hair. Before applying shampoo, divide your hair into several sections. This will facilitate the application of the shampoo directly onto the scalp. Try not to put shampoo on the lengths of your hair to prevent them from tangling and creating knots. Untangling knots often leads to hair loss.
If you use a conditioner, avoid letting it come into contact with your scalp. This type of treatment can clog hair follicles, leading to scalp issues and subsequent hair loss. If possible, also use a conditioner made from natural ingredients. After each shampoo, ensure to thoroughly rinse out all treatment residues. Also, avoid styling your hair when it's wet, as it is more fragile and tends to break more easily, which can contribute to hair loss.
GROVER R. W. DIFFUSE HAIR LOSS ASSOCIATED WITH SELENIUM (SELSUN) SULFIDE SHAMPOO. Journal of the American Medical Association (1956).